Building off our last piece that focused on healthier snacking options to consider while on-the-go this summer, this month we want to take a closer look at what it really takes to make better-for-you snacking choices.
Why Snack Healthy?
The first question we all have when the topic of snacking healthier comes up is, “Why?” Whether it’s for you own benefit or the benefit of your kids, making better-for-you snacking choices has a multitude of benefits.
We live in a world these days that is always on-the-go, requiring us to be running all over the place most of the day. While convenient, higher-fat, sugary snacks may seem like an easy go-to option when you’re on the run, they will quickly drain the energy right out of you after giving you a quick, short-lived boost. This is when healthier snacking is most important, as it will guarantee you have the energy to do whatever you need throughout the day!
One of the main benefits of snacking that we all find is that it tends to “hold us over” until we get to our next meal. Forgoing a snack entirely can actually increase our appetite. This causes us to seek anything and everything to munch on, which typically leads to a quick bag of chips, fast food, or candy. That’s why it’s important to sate your hunger early with a healthy snack – we won’t end up overeating at our next meal or getting so hungry we choose anything around us.
While snacking provides us the necessary calories to prevent hunger and give us the energy to make it through our hectic days, it’s even more important for us to choose healthy snacking options. If we fill our snacking habits with convenient junk food and fast food, we may be getting the calories we need, but we are entirely ignoring the nutrients we need throughout the day to stay healthy and on top of our game. Making better-for-you snacking choices will ensure you hit your daily counts for the nutrients everyone needs to get by.
How to Start?
Like many other changes we try to make in our lives, making better snacking choices is more of a lifestyle change than a single choice. At first it will take discipline, looking for the right foods based on what it has and what it doesn’t. Beyond that though, it’s important to keep up with the newfound habit by connecting with others making the same choices. The only question is, how do we start?
Avoid Added Sugars
Unfortunately, when we look at snacks and see “Low-Fat” on products, we take it at face value. The truth of the matter, though, is that companies often offset the levels of fat by adding a lot of extra sugar to make up for the taste. That’s why it’s important to check the nutrition labels to make sure there is a good balance between fats and sugars, as too much of either will tip the scales against us.
Look for Fiber
Everyone knows at least one benefit of fiber, as it’s important to keep our gastrointestinal balance “regular.” One benefit of fiber most don’t recognize, though, is high-fiber foods tend to be incredibly filling in small portions. This will help keep how much we eat during a snack down, while ensuring we have the energy to make it to our next meal.
Proteins are also extraordinarily important when it comes to snacking healthy. Not only are certain proteins important in our daily nutrition, they pack a much bigger punch in terms of giving you the energy you need for a longer period of time. Portions are important though, as high-protein foods typically have a much higher calorie count per unit.
Join the Communities
One of the hardest parts about eating healthy is staying on top of our game. Just like any lifestyle change, it’s important to continue reminding ourselves why we want to snack healthier, how to find variety in our new eating habits, and we are not alone in our endeavor. Joining in-person or following online communities & blogs like Positive Health Wellness will give us the motivation we need to stay on the wagon and ensure we form a daily habit of snacking healthier.
What Do We Eat Now?
Now, the only question left is, “What do we eat now?” One place to find many quick, easy, and healthy snacking options for any occasion is to take a look back through our blog. Over the years we have compiled a plethora of articles and recipes specifically talking about how we can snack healthier–whether we are on-the-go, at a tailgate, or just hanging out with friends.
Here a few other articles & resources for identifying healthier snacking options for any occasion.
- Healthy Snack Ideas
- Healthy Snacks for Work
- Healthy Snacking by heart.org (1)
- Healthy Snacking by heart.org (2)
- 23 Snacks That Burn Fat
We hope you have what you need to begin Snacking In Sanity with healthier choices. Join us again next month for another one of our Nutty Rants!